Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Renting in Kalgoorlie

I thought I'd write a little piece on renting a place in Kalgoorlie because we found the experience confusing with many differences from the eastern states of Australia.

First thing to be aware of if you are thinking of making the move is that you are not allowed to put through an application for a rental over the internet. This we found unfortunate as we would have like to line up a place to move into before moving over. You are not allowed because there is a rule that you must have pysically sighted the property. We found that real estates would not deal with us via email either.

A thing to note is that motels, hotels and caravan parks need to be booked in advanced they are mostly full year round and expensive the caravan park only took weekly bookings not by the day and cost $600 per week. The renatal vacancy rate is very low here less than 1% (most cities fluxuate between 20%~16%) which essentially means there are not enough renal properties to accomodate the population. As this is a mining town a vast majority of the people here are not from here and are only here tempararily for a few years. This makes the rental market one of the most competetive in the nation.
Being such a highly competitive market seems to make a big difference in the way the real estate agents work. The whole vibe is different- its hard to discribe I'll start by saying that the level of cusotmer service is poor. I guess it really is true when they dont need your business!

Be aware that you need to have a weeks rent to put as a down payment with every application you submit. All the real estates that we encountered wont let you put through mulitple applications at a time. The applicaton form however will let you put 1st and 2nd preferences. This first weeks rent is not a bond you will have to pay the usual bond of one months rent when you are successful. You need to pay in cash and if you are unsuccessful they will move it to the next application that you submit. You may need to pay the difference in balance. If you are successful this is taken as your first week rent paid. If you want your money back they will write you a cheque, which is very annoying because you need to wait for it clear back into your account. We had the added step of needing to post a cheque on to our own banks in another state as they dont have a branch in Kalgoorlie.

When you attend an inspection (they will never give you keys to look at a place yourself or show you a place outside these inspection times) there will be many people that come through- so its a good idea to set yourself above the pack and present yourself well look neat and tidy. Chat to the real estate agent make a lasting impression. Remember she might only submit her top three (or less) candidates to the land lord for approval. They will look more kindly on you if you dont smoke and dont have pets (I'm not saying to lie....but we did).

Rent here can be paid weekly which was a surprise to me as I have never known a real estate or land lord to accept less than a month at a time. Unfortunatly you have to pay in cash they do not have eftpos or bpay facilities.

Also they have many more inspections than in my past renting experience, I have even lived in places for years and not had one. We have had 2 in 5 months so far and they are very very thorough and tough.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Atkins Diet First Month Finished- Lets Review

One month down and I guess it will most likely be the hardest one. Total weight loss to date is 3 kilos so I'm now 77 kilos.

I have completely cut out really high in starch foods such as white bread, potatoes, flour, pasta, rice and sugar. GO ME!

I did try a few low carb alternatives to these such as artificial sugar which is ....bearable.
Low carb pasta....which is not bearable I think that the better alternative is wholemeal or spinach pasta.
I am yet to try brown rice which is surprising I have gone my whole life and never had it. I have introduced rye bread but not daily and some whole grains cereal also not daily.
I tried a few lo carb "chocolate" bars these are disgusting I cant even describe how horrible they taste!
I also have introduced a piece of fruit a day from the end of week 3.

I could only manage 2 and 1/2 weeks in the introduction detox stage of the diet and didn't have earth moving results. Most people i feel will have a more successful result though.

Now I'm in a loose interpretation of phase 2 -what I mean by this is I am allowed some fruit in this phase. But I have any fruit I want not just the limited list of allowed fruits. I do only have one piece a day and have not yet let myself have watermelon which is a huge sacrifice.
I'm on 20~30 grams of net carbs a day [mostly] which is still in the very lo range. As I become more disciplined with exercise I can gradually add more and bring this up to 50~70 per day. As long as the majority of your carbs are always from vegetables, fruits and whole grains this is considered an ideal sustainable lifetime diet.  

The most notable change is in my face and fingers at the moment and my skin is looking clear. Which is great I mean who wants a fat face or fingers right!! Its unfortunate that in the first month when you make all the hard sacrifices you also have the least support because most people won't notice any changes in you.
I'm not sure that Atkins or a low carb diet is for everyone, but at the moment this is the one that appeals to me the most as carbs are my biggest weakness and I don't want to develop type 2 diabetes its too close as it is.  

I'll put up a couple of recipes that I like soon that are quick, healthy, low carb, cheap, and delicious!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Tips on Getting a JOB in the Mining Industry

As I have previously mentioned it can take a long time to get a foot in the door in the mining industry much longer than the perception. Before embarking on this adventure I had always heard of people heading to the mines to make their fortune. So I just asumed it was easy.

There are a few things that you can do to help your chances.

Tradies (Tradesmen) will have a better chance than anyone else as the majority of the work is in labour. Not many mining companies hire someone with no mining experience. They also don't take on domestic or household tradesmen you need at least some experience with industrial level machinery.
 The easiest way in is if you are a diesel mechanic that works for one of the top companies such as Caterpillar, Komastu or Hitachi etc even though you may not work on the size machinery they have in the mines you will still have all the formal training and all the mines use big rigs from those companies. If you are a fully qualified diesel mechanic and currently work for one of these companies then your chances are quite good. You can either look on job search websites or send your resume directly. Another option that worked very well for my brother -in law is he put his own resume on seek and companies approached him. He was courted hard by the biggest with no prior experience and worked out a fantastic Fly in Fly out (FIFO) deal. My sister writes a lovely blog about the FIFO lifestyle here.

Caterpillar Dump Truck- you need a ladder to climb on board
If you don't happen to be a geologist, mining engineer or diesel mechanic (like us) there is still hope!
Licence up;
I do recommend organising your trade licence in the state you are applying to work. You can organise it when you get here but takes a couple of months and will severely restrict your ability to work and in turn your hireabliity. So if you already have that organised before applying it will make you stand out from the crowds. This is a logical step you are showing you are serious and qualified to do the job you are applying for.
Tweak your Resume;
Having been on the opposite side of hiring I can honestly say that your resume will make or break your chances. I used to have a quick glance and sort them into duds and people that I wanted to read more about. I'd then give the dud pile to an off- sider to give a second chance to whoever they felt deserved it. But honestly hardly ever did anyone that was initially classed a dud based soley on a quick glance at their resume make it through to interview. First impressions count!
Remember that even though you are applying for a mining job the person that will receive your resume is in head office in HR they are a professional with little exposure to the job you are applying for. So make it as professional looking as possible - have someone else check it- ALWAYS do this.
Spell check (um...if you don't do this you don't deserve a job anywhere), don't use personal/ inappropriate email addresses hornyboi88@ will NOT make it through to interview!
Also its likely they will use your email to find you on social media like facebook and could form an opinion that your are unprofessional. When searching for a new job you should always have all social media settings to private and if a profile picture will show in search results tone it down! Believe me we do look and have a good laugh but we don't interview the people we find on social media if they come across as party people that are always drunk.
List all your extra qualifications such as first aid, fire warden, fork lift driver any other courses that your work might have up-skilled you with.
Try to keep it mining applicable if you work on heavy machinery this needs to be prominent.

Kalgoorlie Super Pit- the largest open cut gold mine in Australia
Leverage off someone you know; If you know someone working in the mining industry ask them to pass on your resume, chances are they get a finders fee once you pass probation so there is incentive to introduce quality workers.
Research and apply to companies directly -it might be a good idea to send your resume directly to the company you 'd like to work for. Call first and find out the email address for the HR department.
Job Agency;
Job agencies that are mining specific. Again research on the net all the major mining towns have dozens of job agencies that get people into the mines. Send them your resume and maybe set up a phone interview or just ring them and ask advice. My feeling on these agencies is that they will require you to live local.
Contracting Companies;
Some of the big mining companies wont look at you so it might be an idea to apply for a position at one of the thousands of contracting companies that service the mines instead. This is an excellent foot in the door and will get you the experience you need to use as a stepping stone. This is a good option also if you have only worked on domestic machinery as they will provide training. Believe me you will need training my partner (even though he worked on industrial and heavy machinery and was seasoned in his trade as an electrician) says that it was like learning his trade all over again!
Be prepared to MOVE!
Not many mines actually do FIFO in some cases you even have to cover a portion or all of your flying cost yourself! Many mines nowadays require their work force to live in the local area this is why they spend the money building up the communities instead. Some companies in their job offer will include a re-location package to help with the costs in return for you committing to a minumum of 2 to 3 years on a binding contract.
If you are looking for work in the non skilled sector or administration areas you are more than likely going to need to live locally. Many people do this come over without a job lined up. In fact I did this very thing -my partner had a job offer from an electrical contractor and I came to the unknown. I just looked in the local paper and found a job within a week. Office administration, non skilled labor and service jobs in the greater mining industry are quite easy to come by once you are here.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Supermarket Voyeur

So i must confess that while I wait for my turn at the check out I can't help but have a sneaky look at the peoples trolley around me I find it fasinating. 
However since starting my diet I must admit to feeling awkward when shopping I now obsessively check all the labels before buying. I used to see people do this and thought they were a bit fancy. Now that I do it I can't help but feel peoples eyes on me ...judging me. Thinking sure sure your not really healthy your too fat to be. 

So after nearly 3 weeks on a very limited carbs intake I can honestly say I'm over it. My weight has gone back to the start and I'm so disheartened about that. I feel like I've given up everything I love and done all this and achieved nothing! Well I have in actual fact achieved nothing haven't I.

I haven't had beer, coke, sugar, full milk, fruit, potatoes, bread, cereal, pasta, chocolate, ice-cream, cookies, lollies or rice for the past 3 weeks. These are all things that I would pretty much have daily before the diet. I also haven't had junk food such as pizza, maccas or KFC etc- which i might have had one of these once a week.

I miss beer!

see I have dozens of photos of me drinking a big beer

mmmmm beer

I also miiissssss dessert!

I have had a couple of things I shouldn't have...in total in 3 weeks I have had 2 carrots, an apple, 2 nectarines and 2 chocolate biscuits.  I can only conclude that this is why I haven't lost any weight at all. But the fatty in me is saying well you could have just lived your life as normal eating happily what you like and still been where you are right now.

Obviously I cannot sustain this phase much longer especially with such abysmal results. Not only have I lost in total 0 kilos( after initial 2 I put them back on somehow) I feel bloated and huge and i seem to need a LOT of fibre supplements to help me but I'm still nowhere near as regular as I used to be. I'm going to add a piece of fruit a day and some whole grains to this diet and see how I go on that. I think that this will also help with my grumpy mood. 

The website sort of lead me to believe (with enough disclaimers) that in phase one 'the detox' phase the weight loss will be the most dramatic and then you'll just go into maintaining. Well what then if i lose nothing then maintain that?

Trying to leave this on a positive note I can say that I have kicked my caffine habbit!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Getting this party business organised.

For the past month every day I have been receiving exciting deliveries of all sorts of stock, packaging and marketing materials. Its all starting to come together now and I couldn't be more excited.

Here's what I've been up to;
I ordered a small banner from vista print have I mentioned I love them I'd marry them if I could! Vista Print I got it for just a $1 plus postage in one of their deal emails that they send regularly. See pays to open them sometimes not just delete them. I was going to buy one and they cost around $80 usually- Yipeee gotta love a bargain!
Already got my business cards another deal from vista print for free. Just had to pay postage.
I designed a flyer and labels for the boxes myself which look great. I've also done all the activity suggestion cards & recipe cards these took a lot of time and research to compile. Each card is unique to each theme to help give the buyer extra ideas with their party for games, activities, decoration and menu. The good news is once they are done I don't have to do it again only with each added theme.

My sample stock arrived they sent me one of every item in one of every design that I want. They were perfect better than I had hoped for! The big order has been put through and now. So that is the standard boxes taken care of!
These are the themes I have chosen for this first batch (that will hopefully grow from there)
Barbie (how could I not) Spiderman, Batman, Sponge Bob Square Pants, Hello Kitty, Thomas the Tank Engine, Cars & Disney Princess.
Each box will contain enough for 8 kiddies of the following: invitations / envelopes, plates, cups, napkins, table cover (1), loot bags, blowers, party hats, 15 balloons, laminated activities & recipe cards

I have also just finished some premium party boxes which i think are awesome.

Girls Slumber Party, Summer Cocktail Party, Pirate, Smurf, Garden Party, Movie Night & Hens Night.
These boxes contain everything you need also like plates, cups, napkins, but they also contain little extra accent items that are unique to that theme. Like in the slumber party box there is a manicure set and cute panda sleeping masks. The movie night contains silly straws, popcorn cones & bags that type of extra detail is what makes them premium.

Next themes that are contenders for premium boxes are babushka, ladybug, jungle, animal print, masquerade, Halloween, Hollywood, Japan, cowboy & pink pirate.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Diet - week 2 review

So this weeks weight loss was minimal which is disheartening. Not even a full kilo of total weight loss and I still look as porky as usual and my clothes don't feel looser so this week I can only assume that my metabolism went into hibernation and did nothing. I guess its not surprising!
I did do a little memory lane tripping and looking at old photos of me in my 20's for my blog on 'My Glam Past' here and it has kept me motivated. Its a good idea I think to look at old photos and compare them to recent ones because when I just rely on myself looking in the mirror it is apparent that I go into a state of delusion and don't see the weight there.

  • I was able to kick my extra coffee a day so I'm down to one which is acceptable YAY!
  • I found snacking easier I just stuck to cheese, cucumber and carrot.
  • Still stuck to only 20 grams of carbs a day and had nothing fun like bread, pasta, beer, sugar, cake, coke, chocolate....Lived on meat, cheese,eggs and green veges
  • A welcome kit arrived from Atkins with a recipe book and 2 chocolate bars that actually taste ok. 

  • Although i love breakfast- I'm a bit over cooking every morning. I miss cereal its so easy.
  • Struggled to drink 8 glasses of water, but we have ordered a water chiller to be delivered early next week for home so that should make it easier.
  • Still struggling with the exercise portion of things - getting up early in the morning isn't as fun as it seems I wonder how sporty fit people get the motivation to do it?
  • I feel a bit blue and cranky this week - not sure if its diet related or just a blue mood.
Still to do;
  • Buy some sort of Ab lounge cruncher helper machine
  • make a vision board of me skinny to help with motivation
  • lose 28 kilos
  • Stay on phase one at least another 2 weeks.
Well thats week 2 done and dusted! There is roughly 70 weeks until the wedding in Phuket (not that I'm counting!).  So when I look at it like that its OK if some weeks my body doesn't drop weight i need to lose 4 grams a week....that does seem do-a-ble.

Gooooooooooo Plan Bikini Body!

Stacey xx

Friday, 9 March 2012

being a Hostess in Japan -Part 2

Let me tell you a few stories about some of my favourite customers.
My first favourite customer was later to become my lover - don't judge I was crazy about him he dazzled me with his flashy rock star ways.
No names lets call him A - he was a member of the yakuza (mafia) and always had his minion or driver or whatever his job description was he was always accompanied to the club by a large short bald man. A, himself was tall and an older man in his mid to late 30's with a thin moustache and he always wore sports jackets and white suit jackets. i thought he was debonair to be honest. Shush I can feel you judge I was young and I already told you I got dazzled.

(Billboard outside all Japanese hostess club 'Regend')
Anyhoo A was my first favourite he used to come to the club every night and have heaps of girls sit with him and order heaps of food and drinks and just have loud fun. Everyone wanted to sit at his fun table and every girl wanted to be his number one girl. Another reason we liked him was because after work (4am) and during the afternoon when we woke up he would take us to fun places to eat or shop. He would take us in pairs or groups so you'd always feel safe with him. He drove a fancy car (well had his driver drive us -yep white gloves and all) he splashed a lot of cash and sort of seemed a bit famous where ever we went people knew him and would be differential. Now in hind sight these people could have all been afraid of him and paying projection money. I met him on my first visit and I couldn't speak any Japanese so the kind of communication in itself was fun. We'd use baby language and silly hand gestures -we never got serious because we couldn't ever have a serious conversation. He was also a massive player and adulterous man which ended us. He did pick us up from the airport when we arrived on our second trip and got us an apartment which was cool. After doing that for us though he'd go weeks without talking to me. I didn't have his phone number so that was inconvenient.

(Outside a club called tank girl taken in 2011)
My next favourite customer was also in the yakuza....hmmm is this a pattern. (No it isn't I promise).
This time we didn't have a relationship outside friendship though. Lets call him Hero (close enough) he was very handsome and very shy which as it turns out I like. I knew him for about 4 years there are two interesting stories about him one he got me a really beautiful China dress for my 21st and the second was the reason why we never got together because he would disappear for long periods of time. A reliable source (another customer) told me he was sort of a low ranking yakuza (like a muscle man) who would often be in trouble with his work bosses -who are yakuza bosses (and you sort of never want to be in trouble with yakuza bosses). I witnessed a couple of the penalties he had to pay. He had to shave his head once and he also had to cut off a portion of his left pinkie finger. I'm not sure what he did to earn these penalties though. Oh the pinkie finger thing is pretty usual not to be callus and uncaring here its just that I've seen so many men missing portions of their finger its really normal to me. It doesn't always have to be for doing something wrong it can be like a pledge of allegiance as well. They wear it like a badge. 
Another badge the yakuza wear with pride is tattoos, traditionally their whole back is, t-shirt sleeves, and to mid thigh are all completely covered. I would always ask the customers to show me their tattoo I have always found them beautiful. Japan have no tattoo policies in places like gym's, public bath houses and pools its a polite way to say no yakuza allowed. Seeing these various tattoos is probably what influenced my own addiction to tattoos.  Japanese Tattoo

(My back tattoo- very Japanese inspired)
Another favourite in the club was a guy we called PaPa and we'd pat his bald head whilst saying it (I'm not sure why don't ask just go with it). He actually was the head of Yamaha (pianos not bikes) we liked him because he was really lovely, could speak English and always without fail brought us ice creams. See how easy it is to please me!

I also had a big wig of coke a cola Japan as a customer and if only I had of stayed a bit longer working there instead of packing up and heading to live in the Philippines- I would have scored Sydney Olympic opening ceremony tickets he took another Aussie girl that worked there instead. He was a very nice man very sweet and dignified with classic Japanese manners.

Another awesome customer of mine I knew for around 6 years. We met because he was a regular of another girl at the club she was from Peru Connie. She was stunning and also married to a Japanese man (of course secretly no customers we aware...this is also usual most girls are married, or live with a guy, or have a boyfriend and its not really knowledge you share with customers) Anyway my Peru friend moved to another town a couple hours away and I was still at his local so he would request me. He still was head over heels in love with Connie though and stayed very loyal. Yes I see the hypocrisy there too! He gave me a video camera for my 23rd birthday.
(even as a little girl i loved playing dress up which was one of my favourite parts of my job as a hostess)
An interesting story about another good customer of mine. Let's call him Mr T -he was stolen from me by another girl that worked with me her name was Leni -I'm not sure if that was her real name many girls had alias' except me i wouldn't be able to remember it if i was drunk so what was the use. Anyway she won him over he stopped requesting me even though he had been for over 2 years. These kind of things are annoying as it not only means loss of income its a massive blow to your pride. Anyhoo a few years later I ran into him when I was working at a different club. He requested me and it was nice I hadn't seen him for years so got to ask about his work and kids and all the stuff you usually catch up on. The I broached the topic of Leni..."so hows Leni" haha! I'm not subtle. He told me that she changed clubs as well because she got caught having an affair with a married man and his wife sort of ran her out of town. In her new club she 'renamed' herself Stacey..um that's my name... awkward obsessed with me much?! He thought it was stalkerish too and stopped going to see her. I ended up teaching his 3 kids English when I left the night life and went day! I would often eat dinner at their home with his whole family.

One of the towns big spenders was a shipping tycoon came in a few times a week he would bring in his Norwegian clients to smooch and woo them. It is a common practice to bring clients to a hostess bar to try to win them over. I was countless times used as a bargaining tool to win over contracts and clients for my customers. I'd attend dinners or they'd come to the club to meet me. I liked to have conversations about their business it really did interest me. I've worked on marketing campaigns, major multi million dollar contracts and even named businesses all whilst lighting cigarettes and drinking copious amounts of whiskey. This was a favourite customer because he gave actual tips which was rare. He did it to show off his western knowledge but who cares!

The customer that gave me a car was another that we all called Papa. He was a very sweet old man in about his late 60's he was widowed. He would come to the club once a week and loved his karaoke -he'd sing the Japanese version of 'My way' every single time without fail. He would often bring with him shopping catalogues and let me pick out things I wanted. How cute is that! He used to take me out to dinner about once a month it was always a traditional Japanese place and always amazing. He was just a lovely grandfather figure I could tell he was a bit lonely he didn't have any family so I used to make sure I'd call him often to check on him.

The thing about being a hostess is that even though it isn't the sex trade there is never a time you are selling your body to a customer for money. In fact in most clubs I worked they wouldn't even let you date customers. But in another way it is a form of emotional prostitution. What you are selling is your companionship your mind and the unspoken promise that there could be a chance between you. You are always single and always just beyond reach. A good hostess can string these feelings out for a long period of time and may develop care and a sort of friendship between herself and the customer but never goes further. It can at times be confusing for both sides.

An amazing documentary if you are intrigued by the hostess / host life is  this link 'The great happiness space -Tales of an Osaka love thief'. Its about a male host in Osaka and his host club most of his customers are female hostesses or woman of the night. It gives an interesting insight into how hosts/hostesses feel about customers.

(Host bar billboards in Shinjuku Japan 2011)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

being a Hostess in Japan in the 90's

Once upon a time in another lifetime.... I was a night club hostess

So I have mentioned a couple of times now that I used to live in Japan. How that came about was quite unplanned.  I originally went over there to work as a hostess on a 6 month contract and ended up enjoying it so much I went back again on another 6 month visa. Then I met a guy and one thing led to another and before I knew it I was over staying my visa. I didn't really think much at the time of implications or that I was breaking the law. All the other foreigners that I had ever met there were overstaying a visa and some of them had been there for many years.

It's not like people spot check your passport and see if you have a visa. Even with a visa I wouldn't have been allowed to get a phone or apartment in my name anyway they just didn't allow any foreigners to do that. My apartment and phone and bills were all paid for by work anyway. I was paid cash in hand weekly and the only tax that mattered to me were the mafia kick backs or yakuza 'tax' I paid to keep the club from being raided.

So life with or without a visa was pretty similar whilst living there, the only bother and the ultimate reason why I ended up declaring myself and suffering the 1 year penalty was that I couldn't travel freely.

Firstly, let me describe the work for you; basically my job was to nightly look my best, sit and make small talk, be flirty, pour drinks, light cigarettes and clap loudly when they sing karaoke. But the biggest part of my job and the most important to my boss was that I drink as much alcohol as possible. Not all clubs let the girls drink though the first one I worked and the most weirdly strickt wouldn't let us drink. Didn't stop us from getting plastered most nights though on the sly.

See a red velvet couch (me in about 1994)
Most clubs back then were all pretty similar looking. Low lighting, karaoke stage, clusters of tables and couches (velvet mostly). Club owners (mostly always Yakuza) seem to like gaudy interiors. I've worked at places that had wall murals, chandeliers, red velvet couches and floor to ceiling mirrors. Many also had french or English names. I worked at crazy horse, la foret and majesty to name a few. 

The system or order of the night went like this. You either get picked up by a club driver / chauffeur that will take you to the club. Or you can go out with a customer for dinner and he will bring you to the club 30 minutes to an hour after usual start-this will cost him extra & will earn you more.
Customers will keep a bottle of vsop, xo or hennessy whiskey at the club- it has their name on it. When they arrive they will be shown to a table and asked if they want to request anyone in particular to sit with them. This request system is how you earn extra its like your tips -as customers will rarely give you a tip in cash they are more into gifting. On average its about $15 ~$20 per request and you'd have on average 3 a night. Taking dinner with a customer first then bringing them to the club will earn you about $40. Plus you get a nice dinner. So as you can imagine these requests were pretty important to us and could lead to big time competition between the girls. 

So once the customer is settled with the girls they have requested and drinks poured. The serious business begins. It is every girls' at that tables job to make sure the bottle is emptied and a new one is purchased before the time he wants to leave. With bottles costing about $400 a pop you can see why. This being the mission you can imagine the lengths we would go to. We drink, we flatter, we play silly childish drinking games and if all else fails we tip it in a pot plant when they aren't looking. As well as alcohol all clubs charge per person per hour & a cover charge & a charge to request the girls & a charge for the girls to drink & then they are charged for their food and karaoke. On average a table of 2 or 3 people will pay about $1000 for a night out and would generally come at least once or twice a week. 

Grainy old polaroids of me before work around 1997
The type of clientele that would come to hostess clubs are 99.9% married men that are in middle to upper management or company owners, politicians, government workers, artists, famous people and yakuza. No matter what kind of job the person was doing though they will all tell you they are a 'salary man'.
The culture now has changed and these hostess clubs are almost non existent anymore. I think that one of the main reasons why these clubs were so hugely popular during the 80's and 90's was because men and woman in Japan still had no equality and most marriages were still 'arranged marriages' at the time. With my western sensibility I would often be flabbergasted that men could lavish all that money, time, attention and interest on another woman without suffering at home. On many occasions when I did have the opportunity to meet one of my customers wives I would inevitably be thanked by her for keeping him occupied and out of her home. When I eventually left the night life and settled in to a teaching job at an English conversation school many of my former customers' wives approached me to teach their children and come into their homes. I'm not sure I could show the same welcoming attitude if my mister was out every night spending thousands of dollars on another woman! Could you?  I think that right now in Japan that is why there aren't many hostess clubs left. Woman just wont put up with it. The younger generation are demanding love and romance in their relationships. Good on them!!

There were of course many nights that were boring monotonous and many customers that were boring some would even get so drunk they'd have a sleep! There were sleazy types as well, but different to the western type of sleaze I never felt threatened or afraid. They wouldn't even touch you mainly just asking if you'd sleep with them, drunkenly have a crack. You'd just say you were a virgin and laugh it off. But on the flip side I also got to meet some incredible people fun, dynamic, smart men that had amazing jobs and were interesting and knew the line. Majority of my customers I knew for years and I never even had dinner with them outside the club. They just came to drink with me because I like to talk and am fun. Others did have expectations of our relationship growing into more. Like everyone I have a type and if your not attracted to someone its just not going to happen. I admit though that you'd try not to let him down hard because you'd hope he would still come and drink at the club. If someone wanted to take me out on a 'date' outside the club he would generally expect that I'd bring a friend. I don't know why but Japanese men would always be fine with this. I would only go out alone with someone for the same reasons I would here. If I was genuinely interested in it becoming more or if they were my friend and I trusted them.

So when you mix pretty young girls and alcohol and men that are mesmerised by them there is going to be an element of love in the club. I can honestly say that I met guys that I became crazy about and would date them we all did. There comes a point in a relationship though where you need to separate your work. Even though you might have met in the club its not good for your boyfriend to visit you there. It's not hard to imagine that jealousy and hurt feelings can be the result. Either way your boyfriend has to watch you with other customers across the room or while you are over there another girl from your club will be sitting with him. Some girls can be competitive and want what you have or just be drunk and not know that you are more serious with that person. Its hard to watch and YES I get the hypocrisy in this. Also it becomes an issue with money - you don't want someone you care about being ripped off just to hang out with you. But if they work in the day and you in the night well its hard to find time to hang out. This is why I left work to become an English teacher.

One of my countless trips to Disneyland
It was a big decision to leave work for a man. For one thing I really liked my job it was easy and fun. I had some lovely girlfriends. I liked to get dressed up everyday and loved drinking. I felt like a mini celebrity in the town I lived and I liked that. There was a  billboard of me outside the club. I can't deny that the money was sensational at my peek I earned nearly $10,000 Australian a month. But even more than my wages were the gifts I would receive from customers. I was given things like a car (and i couldn't drive so I gave it to my friend), a Rolex, phones (back when they were expensive), cameras, gadgets, appliances, designer handbags, clothes, shoes, mink coats, overseas holidays, trips to Disneyland, taken to fancy restaurants, my apartment and bills were paid and box loads of jewelry. 

Singapore 1995 taken on a shopping trip

Pool side at the Shangri la in Bangkok

C'est La Vie.

Monday, 5 March 2012

I held up an International Flight- oops!

On the weekend I heard from an old friend of mine. She had just read my blog and messaged me to say she liked it. That was nice! Then she reminded me of a story from my past that I had completely forgotten about. I thought I'd share it here since I did a whole 'rant' on people that hold you up on flights and how very annoying that is.
Turns out I have been the culprit of this myself and in a BIG way not just the way I was ranting about.

It was the first time i was travelling overseas I was flying to Japan via Indonesia with a group of 5 other girls. I had just turned 20 and was on my way to work in Japan on a 6 month contract hostessing at a club.
Anyway here is how I held up a whole international flight for nearly an hour and copped death stares from the other passengers.

I went through check in , then through the restricted area, baggage check and then lined up at immigration. When it was finally my turn they were already boarding my flight and we may have even been paged over the loud speaker at that stage. The immigration guy says you haven't paid your airport tax....well truth be told I had never heard of it so that is why I hadn't paid it. So I have to go all the way back out near where you check in and find a counter to pay airport tax. A ground crew came and ran me through the various queues making people hate me for jumping the line. They sprinted me through back parts of the airport whilst they spoke on walkie talkies it was all very dramatic.

I got on the flight and there was no doubt I was the bad guy! Oopsy!

The crew of girls I originally went to Japan clockwise left bottom-Miley, Holly, me, Karen, Tracey

Friday, 2 March 2012

Atkins Diet end of week 1 -Lets Review

Diary entry for week one, It's done and I survived! Lets get straight to the weight loss I lost 2 kilos. Which is 4.4 pounds that sounds better.This is the converter that I have been using click here

Here are the Highs and Lows;

  • By the end of the week I didn't need to use a calculator and list of allowed foods, I have it down pat now what I am allowed and rarely need to double check. This is great because counting or weighing food isn't fun and could be a major deterrent to people in the first couple of days for wanting to drop the diet all together as its too much work. Just stick with it you'll become an expert really quick. 
  • I love breakfast bacon & eggs I mean that is heaven!
  • Drinking 8 glasses of  water didn't turn out as hard as I thought once I realised I didn't need to drink 8 bottles of water just 8 glasses! Which is only about 3 bottles and quite manageable. 
  • My energy levels and feelings of starvation were much better by about day 5 which is great.
My breakfast this morning, I can have 3 slices of bacon a day and as many eggs as i want!

  •  I weighed myself after a couple of days and discovered that I had gained weight. This was incredibly disheartening as you can imagine. I had given up everything I love for days and felt worst had no energy and was so bloated! 
This is why don't weigh yourself that often just once a week do it in the morning once you have 'emptied' but before you have eaten breakfast. 
  • I started the diet at a bad time of month as far as my own cravings and body bloatedness goes. I'd recommend keeping this in mind before you start. 
  • I have to get up in the middle of night to go to the toilet because of all the water I'm drinking. NOT FUN!
  • I sometimes have to make myself a different meal than my partners as he isn't participating. It would be easier to do it as a family. 
  •  I needed to take fibre pills -which the website said I would -I just felt I was a regular type of girl and wouldn't need them. Fibre pills are expensive and you need a lot I'm on 12 a day at the moment. 
  • I have no discipline when it comes to exercising. But i rediscovered my xbox so hopefully next week I lose more than 2 kilos.
  • I cheated a couple of times I had 2 nectarines that I had bought before i started. I miss fruit.
  • The taste of artificial sweetener is pretty bad but I will endure it in my one coffee a day and then when I reach a better state of metabolism I will switch it back to raw sugar there is a low GI one that is good.
I think that I have to accept I will be on phase one the introduction 'detox' stage for longer than two weeks. In fairness to the diet plan though it is probably a bit harder for me to re-program my metabolism than others. Mine is truely screwed.

Hopefully next week has more highs than lows wish me luck 

Stacey xx